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Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia (Turkey)

Practical information on Hagia Sophia

  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Archaeological Site
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Unesco World Heritage
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
In the heart of Istanbul
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
A few hours

Reviews of Hagia Sophia

Timothée D. Seasoned Traveller
564 written opinions

Once one of the most important religious buildings in the world, Hagia Sophia has been deconsecrated and is a museum nowadays.

My suggestion:
To have a better understanding of the historical importance of this place, and enjoy your visit to the full, I recommend you hire a local guide.
My review
Hagia Sophia reigns majestically over Istanbul and is undoubtedly one of the most famous monuments in the world. It was built in the 6th century C.E. and for a long time was the biggest religious building in the world. For nearly a thousand years, Hagia Sophia was the center of Christian life in the east, and then became a mosque after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Mustafa Kemal deconsecrated it in 1931, and nowadays it is home to an exceptional museum which celebrates its history.
Hagia Sophia basilica in Istanbul
Seasoned Traveller
11 written opinions

The Santa Sophia Basilica, built in the 6th century, was converted into a mosque when Constantinople fell to the Ottomans. It became the famous Hagia Sophia Museum it now is in 1934.

My suggestion:
For a better understanding of the place and to get the most out of the visit, find about its history beforehand or take your own guide with you, as there is not much information available once inside.
My review
I found myself stunned by the magnificence of the Hagia Sophia, which is located in the Sultanahmet district. The building is particularly famous for its mosaics and its incredibly varied architecture. Nevertheless, I was a bit disappointed with my visit, mainly because of the lack of detailed information about what you're seeing. I also found I wasn't able to enjoy the atmosphere of the place, perhaps due to the crowds of tourists there at the time. For the same price, I preferred visiting Topkapi Palace, which is just by the side of Hagia Sophia. There are some veritable treasures to be seen amongst the collections they have there.
The interior of Hagia Sophia
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